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M1 fibre broadband ('''300Mbps''') - How to choose a router?

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JR8
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M1 fibre broadband ('''300Mbps''') - How to choose a router?

Postby JR8 » Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:28 am

I am not in the slightest techie, so...

Can anyone recommend a router for the subject connection?

I'm not sure what the variables are, but we'd typically have two users in the evening. One wired, one usually wi-fi. I do light-surfing, music on Youtube and so on, wife streams TV shows (and other stuff, light business use etc) from the US/UK...

p.s. M1 do offer routers but they seem to be £Â£Ã‚£. No idea if this is typical for fibre routers - but I'd rather get considered advice, than rely on a monopoly provider.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:38 pm

For you since you're not a techie the only thing that you'll be able to appreciate is better range on the wi-fi signal. The Asus RT-N66U is the current 'champ' for range, and most of the better fiber providers offer it as your router free or with a small top-up. If not, ~$280 at Sim Lim unless there is a show that weekend. Then, $279 and a free hello kitty sticker and a queue out the door to get it:P

To give an example, I'm in a small ~71sqm HDB. My old Apple Airport Extreme (Also a fairly well regarded wireless router) could cover about 75% of the unit. At the fringes the signal was just strong enough on 2.4 to register a bar, but weak enough that it felt like I was on 3G. 5Ghz had no signal. Changing to the Asus (putting it in the exact same spot as the old one) gave me full signal in even the fringes on 2.4Ghz, and about half signal on 5Ghz.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:43 pm

Also, most routers will be pretty easy to setup on your own. If you're even remotely concerned what someone with a $30 wireless card and a spare hour (or less) can do to you, make sure you do two things:

1) configure 'WPA2-PSK' with long passphrase (10 characters or more)
2) fully disable 'WPS'

Don't bother with MAC address filters, don't bother with hidden SSIDs.


I profess complete ignorance as to who this could possibly be, but I assure you he is invading someone's privacy (and changing their MIO channels if they left Wifi enabled on the TV router):

Image

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Postby Mi Amigo » Fri, 14 Jun 2013 2:26 pm

+1 for the Asus recommendation. I'm using the previous model (RT-N56U) and it's excellent in terms of coverage, reliability and ease of configuration. By all accounts the RT-N66U is better still, but I haven't (yet) come up with a good enough excuse to upgrade. Having said that, I believe the '66' allows you to create a separate guest network (with no visibility into your own devices), something that the '56' doesn't offer.

The only thing I'd add to the zzm's excellent (of course) advice above is to make sure the router firmware is reasonably up to date. If the experience with my model is anything to go by, the improvements, bug fixes and (sometimes) additional functionality in later firmware builds are significant.
Be careful what you wish for

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 14 Jun 2013 8:09 pm

Yes, NT-66U lets you actually make *6* guest networks with different names. The guest networks can all have different passwords and be speed limited if you choose to enable them. That is in addition to the default two, one for 2.4 and one for 5Ghz.

I think the main difference from the 56 to the 66 is just signal coverage. 66 has three external antennas, and I think the 56 had two internal. It's also very good, but coming from my old one I just choose to buy the newer/higher model. If your ISP gives you the 56U for free, I'd stick with it.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 15 Jun 2013 9:37 am

Do you need an extra aircon unit to run it at home?
Image

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 15 Jun 2013 2:39 pm

But 56 and 66 both stand up, so it helps with cooling. My old Airport Extreme got Extremely hot. This one is much cooler to the touch.

Here's a photo to illustrate, and it reminds me of something. If you keep it in your bedroom, the blue LEDs are very bright. You'll want some black electrical tape to cover them up.

Image

And yes, it is called the "Dark Knight".


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